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Water in cylinders after intake swap?

wet hull

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Please provide any guidance if you have experienced this. EFI upgrade on motor. Ran perfect at end of season. In off season swapped the intake to Holley EFI manifold. New Felpro gaskets. Gasket maker on top and bottom of cork at front and rear. Mid way installed the metal cover in gasket to block center ports on both sides. Doing this I did remove valve covers and exhaust but replaced with new gaskets

Issue. My mechanic that rerigged and installed in boat after I did this work when cranked the motor my starter broke. Then he pulled spark plugs to see if he could rotate motor by hand and water came out of 3,5,7,4 cylinders. We were hydrolocked but spins free now.

He is leaning towards a bad head gasket as he does not believe water would leak down past intake manifold into cylinders if I screwed something up during swap. I cant wrap my mind around it being a head gasket. That means my perfect working motor blew head gaskets on both heads while not running during offseason.

He is troubleshooting this tomorrow and I have all the faith in him. They built this motor 10 years ago and never 1 mechanical issue. Its a BBC 540. Maybe one of you has some idea that can shed some light.
 

Shlbyntro

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My first thought is water dropped into the cylinders through the exhaust ports on the manifolds when the exhaust risers were removed.

A lot of assumptions on my part regarding exhaust set up and such

But it's time for a leak down test.
 

Shlbyntro

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Thats a dry joint manifold. Not impossible, but not too likely. Did it ever fire after the swap or was it full of water from the get go?
 

wet hull

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Hasn't fired yet. Just presure check on fuel lines and bump start to rotate. Timing was next up until this all happened. One thing I never did was remove spark plugs ay anytime since I knew je would replace during tuning. I did manually rotate engine during my swap to get distributor to set in.
 

Shlbyntro

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It could be water inversion from the timing being off and the fuel injection being too lean before setup.

Of course,, I'm just spit balling. Ultimately, if it were me,, id clear the cylinders and see if I could get it dry fired first and then introduce water after a basic setup was done. And then fine tune. Leak down when warm.

Sounds like we're all awaiting the results tomorrow
 

obnoxious001

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I highly doubt that both cylinder head gaskets failed while it was sitting, since you indicated cylinders on both banks had water in them.

Did you drain water prior to pulling the old intake off? Proper sealer and torque value and pattern on the new intake should keep it from leaking.

*** By the way, not many people still use cork end seals on intakes, instead run a bead of good silicone sealer thick enough to not leave gaps, but not so thick to squeeze it all over the place.
 

wet hull

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I highly doubt that both cylinder head gaskets failed while it was sitting, since you indicated cylinders on both banks had water in them.

Did you drain water prior to pulling the old intake off? Proper sealer and torque value and pattern on the new intake should keep it from leaking.

*** By the way, not many people still use cork end seals on intakes, instead run a bead of good silicone sealer thick enough to not leave gaps, but not so thick to squeeze it all over the place.
I did not drain the water prior besides disconnecting the hoses. Definitely a rookie mkve on my part. Mechanic said same thing about the cork on ends. Fingers crossed its a intake issue. This is what I get for converting a perfectly good motor from carb to EFI.
 

obnoxious001

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I did not drain the water prior besides disconnecting the hoses. Definitely a rookie mkve on my part. Mechanic said same thing about the cork on ends. Fingers crossed its a intake issue. This is what I get for converting a perfectly good motor from carb to EFI.
Did you see water in the valley when you pulled the old intake? That's my guess without being there, hopefully nothing got bent and you or he should not have to pull the intake. Whenever have an event like that you want the water out just as soon as possibly, and get the cylinder walls lubricated.
 

wet hull

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Did you see water in the valley when you pulled the old intake? That's my guess without being there, hopefully nothing got bent and you or he should not have to pull the intake. Whenever have an event like that you want the water out just as soon as possibly, and get the cylinder walls lubricated.
There was moisture in the valley when I pulled old intake. Motor has not fired since the swap. Just bp started. He immediately pulled plugs amd sprayed lubricant. Should have answers tomorrow.
 

SBMech

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I highly doubt that both cylinder head gaskets failed while it was sitting, since you indicated cylinders on both banks had water in them.

Did you drain water prior to pulling the old intake off? Proper sealer and torque value and pattern on the new intake should keep it from leaking.

*** By the way, not many people still use cork end seals on intakes, instead run a bead of good silicone sealer thick enough to not leave gaps, but not so thick to squeeze it all over the place.
I use this to make the seal, it's what GM uses and is very durable once set.

1614221620897.png


I'm assuming that this is a open cooling system? Weird to me that when you shut it off last year that no one blew out the water with a few dry throttle snaps? I would replace an impeller every year if I owned an I/O rather than leave water in it during the winter.

If the block was still full and you pulled it, yep you certainly could have filled the cylinders with water, but at least a few cylinders would have had water in the head ports that you should have seen when you cleaned up and prepped it to install the manifold?
 

obnoxious001

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I use this to make the seal, it's what GM uses and is very durable once set.

View attachment 976280

I'm assuming that this is a open cooling system? Weird to me that when you shut it off last year that no one blew out the water with a few dry throttle snaps? I would replace an impeller every year if I owned an I/O rather than leave water in it during the winter.

If the block was still full and you pulled it, yep you certainly could have filled the cylinders with water, but at least a few cylinders would have had water in the head ports that you should have seen when you cleaned up and prepped it to install the manifold?
Keyword "should"

I use the aerosol cans of black silicone from Summit, $10 and the stuff seals like "old school" silicone, not the nice smelling stuff at the Home Depot and such now. In the past I also have used the calking gun style, primarily Valco brand. Both are easy to control the bead.
 

wet hull

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Update:
My motor has a large cam. When they were getting ready to test fire to see where timing was they had the water hooked up. It was pushing past raw water pump. When the motor turned over for a few seconds each time we got reversion. Disconnected the water pump and started for a short run. No more water in cylinders. Leak down test was good with all cylinders holding pressure. So glad it was something simple. Motor runs good and EFI tuner in Havasu comes next week to dial in.
 

SBMech

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Keyword "should"

I use the aerosol cans of black silicone from Summit, $10 and the stuff seals like "old school" silicone, not the nice smelling stuff at the Home Depot and such now. In the past I also have used the calking gun style, primarily Valco brand. Both are easy to control the bead.
Yea, the GM product I showed is designed for a mini-gun applicator, like "The Right Stuff", makes it super easy to make the end seals.

Great news wet hull! Happy boating!
 

02HoWaRd26

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Update:
My motor has a large cam. When they were getting ready to test fire to see where timing was they had the water hooked up. It was pushing past raw water pump. When the motor turned over for a few seconds each time we got reversion. Disconnected the water pump and started for a short run. No more water in cylinders. Leak down test was good with all cylinders holding pressure. So glad it was something simple. Motor runs good and EFI tuner in Havasu comes next week to dial in.
So what is the solution so it doesn’t happen again?
Seems the pump has to be running, via engine while in the water, but on the hose, do you just fire then turn hose on immediately after?
 

wet hull

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So what is the solution so it doesn’t happen again?
Seems the pump has to be running, via engine while in the water, but on the hose, do you just fire then turn hose on immediately after?
Not sure. Guessing fire immediately after hose turn on. Think proper timing will help as well
 

02HoWaRd26

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Not sure. Guessing fire immediately after hose turn on. Think proper timing will help as well
Yea true if it was way out, it’d definitely leave the valves open on suction vs compression.
 

BamBam

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So what is the solution so it doesn’t happen again?
Seems the pump has to be running, via engine while in the water, but on the hose, do you just fire then turn hose on immediately after?
That pump is made to pull water. I put the inlet hose in a bucket of water. I place the hose in there too just to keep the bucket full. I killed a motor once by hooking up a hose and turning the water on. Domestic water pressure is WAY higher than the pressure created inside a cooling system.

From what I read throughout this thread, it seems like your pump is filling your exhaust with water and when the valve is on overlap (reversion) the water is getting into the cylinders. That's a lot of water in the wrong places. While the engine is off, there is no exhaust flow to help draw any of the water out. I would definitely not turn your water on without the engine running, but maybe it's time to figure out a different system for running that thing on the trailer. I'm glad you fixed it before any catastrophic failures.
 
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84miller

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I went through a multitude of problems with water on a new rebuilt. After a few mechanics and money...it was the internal seal located on the drive cam for the water pump...just letting you know...it took a year to determine...and the boat was not used.
 

wet hull

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Thanks for all the replies. Everything is dry now. Was the reversion prior to correct timing getting set. We were sucking water back in.
 

Husqy510

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What are the specs on the cam? Reversion can be a big issue. When we built our motor I spoke to the guy at Lightning headers and he said as cubic inches increase duration needs to decrease. I'm sure someone like Barry would know a lot more
 
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